Our Story

Southern Design Companies got its start as a small landscaping company in North Atlanta back in 2009. Our founder, Blanchard Benson, worked tirelessly through the heart of the recession honing the company’s culture of excellent service to keep his young business going strong. Thanks to this unshakable set of principles, “get-it-done” attitude, and customer-first focus he gave Southern Design a unique identity in the industry.

After a few years, business boomed allowing the company to grow exponentially. In 2014, Southern Design opened its own nursery to better accommodate our landscaping offerings. In 2016 and 2019, Southern Design expanded again with the launch of our concrete and pier companies.

Today we work with clients all over the Southeast, conducting business with the selfsame values that made us who we are: Integrity, Quality, and Service.


Our Values

Integrity. Quality. Service. That’s exactly what you get when you work with Southern Design Companies. From the moment you reach out to the time we wrap up your project and beyond, these values will define everything we do for you.



Our business is built on trust. Working with us means you can count on our transparency and respect.



No shortcuts. No false promises. We don’t settle for less than the best and make sure our workmanship reflects that.



Your ask is our task. We’ll always show up to get it done, no matter how complex the lift.

Our People

Southern Design Companies wouldn’t be what it is today without the help of our hardworking staff. Get to know our team leaders below.

Blanchard Benson – Founder & President, Southern Design Landscaping

Blanchard holds a Landscape Design and Grounds Management Degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.In 1998 he got his start in the landscaping industry as an intern. He worked in the field developing his skillset and over time promoted to COO of one of the largest landscape companies in Metro Atlanta at the time. He spent 7 years charged with the responsibility of the company’s day-to-day field operations. After being laid off during the 2008 financial crisis Blanchard stepped out on his own and founded Southern Design Landscaping with a truck, trailer, and three employees. An expert in his field, Blanchard is often called upon by customers on a consulting basis to assist with site problems created by other trades or natural circumstance. Blanchard served our country in the United States Navy.

Karla Burel – Founder & President, Southern Design Concrete

Karla is a graduate of Gainesville College and State University and has a variety of construction industry experience. For more than 26 years Karla has grown her knowledge and relationships in residential building and development, erosion control and landscaping, and  heavy civil construction projects. Karla founded Southern Design Concrete in 2016 and rapidly scaled the business through establishing a reputation for notable quality and impeccable service, diligent planning, strategically identifying well-aligned business opportunities, delivering value propositions, fostering loyalty, identifying individual strengths to assemble a high-performance team, and continually adapting to the industry. Karla is also a certified technician in pervious concrete construction.

Deven Bradford – COO, Southern Design Concrete and Southern Design Piers

Deven holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Southern University. Devens first experience in construction came early when he interned with a residential framing contractor during high school summers. While pursuing a degree in civil engineering interned with Heidelberg Technology Center (the research lab of Lehigh-Heidelberg Cement Group) performing chemical and physical concrete testing under the direction of civil and chemical engineers. Deven has managed the construction of several large-scale commercial renovation projects.  After overseeing thousands of new construction projects for Southern Design Companies, Deven was promoted to COO of the company in 2019. Deven also holds a Georgia Residential Basic Contractor’s License and is a certified installer for pervious concrete.

James Rohmann – Director of Operations, Southern Design Landscaping

James holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. After graduating college in 2002, James began his tenure in the construction industry by spending the first 5 years as a builder with Pulte Homes. When the recession hit in 2008, James left home construction and took a position as a project manager for The Erosion Company before climbing the ranks and leaving for a Director of Operations position at Lot Prep, LLC. As the economy rebounded and residential construction recovered, James returned to home construction where he found his passion again as a builder with Ashton Woods Homes. James joined Southern Design Landscaping in 2014 first as a project manager and worked his way up to the Director of Operations position and now coordinates the day-to-day operations of the company. James is also talented with landscape design and demonstrates artistic flair with landscape plans and drawings.

Todd Dunlap – Director of Development and Southern Design Nursery Operations

Todd is a horticulture expert with more than 24 years of experience. He joined the SDC team in 2011 following 13 years of service at John Deere Landscapes where he served as a Branch Manager.  Todd has both extensive training and hands-on experience in the landscaping industry.  He has certifications from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and Gould’s Water Technology. Todd is also certified in low-voltage lighting as well as irrigation installation and troubleshooting.  Todd’s extensive horticulture knowledge and his tenure in the landscaping industry have helped him to establish a well-developed network of suppliers which yields unparalleled purchasing power for Southern Design Companies.